Wednesday, March 24, 2010

When Dog Tails and Stemware Don't Mix

Before we adopted our pups, I told Aaron I had a few basic requirements in a dog.  I didn't care what breed we got as long as it was a larger dog that fit these characteristics:

1. I wanted a dog with a sense of humor
2. I wanted a dog with floppy ears (not pointy)
3. I wanted a dog with a long tail (not cropped)

Aaron didn't know what I meant by a dog with a "sense of humor" and wondered why this was a requirement and "intelligence" didn't make the list.  Whether Tux, the 100 lb. wonder, plops his rear right in my lap when I am sitting on the couch, or Belle sits in front of the TV and watches "It's Me or the Dog" on Animal Planet with her head tilted, or whether they are just snuggling together like they do every night, they crack us up on a daily basis.  We definitely accomplished #1 on my list and at least Aaron now understands what I meant by a dog with a sense of humor.

The only rationale for 2 and 3 on my list was for cute factor.  I just think floppy ears are cuter.  It's not that I think dogs with pointy ears aren't cute too; I just have a thing for floppy ears.  Like when they perk their ears up curiously when they hear something and have to lift up that big floppy flap of skin and tilt their head so they can hear better. We considered a Malamute, a wonderful breed, but I ruled them out because of their pointy ears and we instead settled on 2 funny mutts because they have floppy ears.
I measure the amount of love I feel by a dog by the circumference of space their tail can cover when they wag their tail when I walk through the door.  I feel 5 times as loved with a long chaotic tail greeting me.  A swinging tail is such a natural movement for a dog and when it is cut off, I feel like they are stripped of their love meter.  A little stub just doesn't do justice. 

Note: I know PLENTY of adorable, wonderful and intelligent dogs with pointy ears, cropped tails, and a serious demeanor (which usually means they are more obedient).  If your dog fits this description, please don't be offended by my silly little requirements. This is just MY personal preference in my own dogs and clearly my rationale does not have any practicality.  I mean, serious dogs with pointy ears might not do things like this.  However, I now understand why some people may choose to get a dog with a cropped tail.  I totally get who those people are now.

Those owners must be wine drinkers. 

For a couple that frequently has a bottle open and 2 wine glasses sitting on the coffee table when we're watching a movie or blogging on the laptop, I've cursed those tails more than I care to admit.  Our wine glass casualties have increased ten-fold since we adopted our dogs nine months ago.

I'm torn between having my love validated by my dogs' wagging tails and indulging in my nightly glass of wine out of the appropriate drinking glass.  How can I decide?  Do I sacrifice broken glass and spilt wine as a result of their tails constantly knocking over wine stems, or do I make some changes in my wine drinking routine?  Their tails are just at the right height and right thickness to smack that glass right on its fragile stem.  And I am a stem glass girl.  I don't like getting my palms around those stemless glasses and getting my fingerprints all over it.  I like to hold the stem and swirl. 

The other night we opened a bottle of our Marquette.  We are opening them gradually to see how it ages.  Amazing how just a couple months of aging really mellows out the wine, yet it's flavor is even more pronounced!  I couldn't bear to risk a tail knocking over our invaluable vintage of Marquette since our demand for this wine is greater than our supply. 

So we made some changes around here.

When drinking wine at tail wagging level, I now drink it out of this more stable, square and squat glass.  It works well and still has a base and itty, bitty stem I can hang onto.  So far it appears to be a good comprimise of my two loves. 

What kind of glass do you drink your wine out of?  Does your dog have a long tail or a short stub (I won't judge, I promise)?